Thursday, April 12, 2007

Perception is Reality

One great thing about living on a desert, the weather can change instantly. Even though I’ve been struggling through 80-90F (27-32C) temperatures for the past week, things changed drastically this afternoon. The wind picked up to 20 MPH with gusts hitting 40 MPH and the temperature dropped to 65F (18C) in the course of an hour. This was going to be a nice evening for a run.

Although the wind had been blowing hard from the west, it turned to the south just as started heading north up the path along the AZ 51 Freeway. I brought my black lab along with me and he was awful skittish for the first couple of miles as various forms of debris rush down the path at us as we headed north. There were soda cans and tree branches; fast food cups and paper bags. We were dodging all sort of stuff. I kept waiting for the Wicked Witch of the West to fly by, but never spotted her.

Unlike yesterday, I decided not to get hung up on HR and run using perceived effort instead. I sing the "Row, Row, Row your Boat" song to figure out if I'm staying in my Aerobic zone. Bad signing aside, this seemed to work well and it certainly felt as if my pace was faster than yesterday, even running slightly up hill, head-long into gale-force winds. After 4 miles, I hit the turn around point and experienced the pure bliss of running down hill with a stiff wind at my back.

Heading down wind, I kept pushing the pace up until I got to the same level of perceived effort as I experienced heading up the hill. Now I new I must be going a lot faster than yesterday, but I didn’t pay any attention to the Garmin or my HR monitor, I just continue running. At one point, a tumble weed chased us down the narrow path, which sort of spooked my dog, but otherwise, everything went smoothly.

Out Bound Mile Splits: 9:04, 9:02, 8:41, 9:04
In Bound Mile Splits: 8:25, 8:31, 8:46, 8:08

I’ve got a little soreness in my right knee, but otherwise everything is OK. I suspect the knee is just the standard “runner’s knee” problem (at least that’s what it feels like). I have been pushing the mileage up the past 4 weeks and I am running up and down a lot more hills than I did previously. I’ll see how that goes.

The numbness in my right foot started in on mile 5 but quickly subsided. I still don’t know the source of that problem, but I can’t help but believe it has something to do with the slower gait I’m using on my recovery runs. If it starts getting in the way of my training, I’ll have it looked at. Otherwise I’d rather get through my next marathon on June 2nd and then see what I need to do.

Finally ... this is my one year blogiversary. Hard to believe that I've been at this for 12 months and you folks are still following along; however, I really do appreciate your comments ... hope the rest of your week goes well.


MON: 8.2 miles, aerobic w/10x100m strides; 9:16/mi, HR - 144
TUE: 5.0 miles, recovery; 9:28/mi, HR – 141
WED: Rest Day
THR: 8.3 mile, aerobic; 8:43/mi, HR - 142


ws said...

Hi Phil - found your blog through Miss Petite America...I like your approach to runs as recovery, aerobic, etc. And I understand your thoughts on the weather change. I'm in South Florida..Sunday it was in the mid-50's and by Tuesday it was in the 70's at 7am and humid. Enjoy the weekend!

olga said...

Happy blogaversary, Phil!
This weather is crazy down south - Craig in TX had snow in the same week as 86F!
There is something about foot I read called "perineal nerve damage", it gives numbness. I read it because my compartment causes numbness in the foot too as a progression of pain. So you may Google it and see if it familiar. Hope not.
The back miles were flying - did you have a wind at your back?:)

Thomas said...

I love the idea of you running along the desert singing "row row row your boat". Too funny!

Deene said...

happy blog birthday! i enjoy reading about your desert adventures.

Josh said...

like Thomas I enjoyed the irony of your mantra...

Happy Blogiversary

Runningdoctor said...

Heh heh, Olga, it's perOneal nerve. The perIneum is something else altogether...

Peroneal nerve injury, though, should give you some motor symptoms, too. The typical "drop foot" syndrome is caused by damage to the peroneal nerve, which runs right over the fibular head (and this is very prone to injury/laceration/pressure).

DawnB said...

Happy Blogaversay Phil!!! and why wouldn't we still following along!!! you are the bestest!!! :)

Phil said...

I don't think I have Peroneal Nerve damage. I have absolutely no motor control problems and I have no numbness on the top of my foot. It starts in the center of my foot on the bottom and spreads symetrically outward. When it get's as bad as it ever gets it feels as if my shoes are tied way to tight. The laces can be completely undone and my foot can be slipping around in the shoe and the feeling is the same. And .... the feeling goes away after a few more miles. It also stops immediately when I stop running and I usually feel good as new with a couple of minutes.

Very strange.

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

""Row, Row, Row your Boat" song to figure out if I'm staying in my Aerobic zone."

That's freaking funny, Phil. You almost needed a boat running in that storm yesterday. With a boat and a sail you probably could have ended up in New Mexico.

Great job!

J~Mom said...

Glad to hear I wasn't the only one enjoying the wind. :>) Happy Blog Anniversary!

aggie jogger '77 said...

Hi Phil,
Great run, you were "flying" on that return.

I saw what you wrote about taking a run in the rain sometime. I intend to do that but I am choosing to wait until sometime after my HM on April 29. At this point I don't want to risk a cold as a result of that kind of run. That combined with our temperature swings is enough to drive a sane person crazy. This morning it's 35 with the chance of snow just north of us and tomorrow for our 10k it's supposed to be about 70, go figure.


Jenny said...

Happy Blogiversary Phil! I love the image of you running through the desert singing "row, row, row your boat" :-)

Nicole said...

I love the row row row your boat trick!

Nicole said...

PS Happy Blogiversary

Feminist Runner said...

Happy blogiversary, Phil! I love the tailwind; now if we can only perfect the world so that runners rarely have a headwind.